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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happenings after CNY

Nothing much eventful, but just thought I'd share some of my food adventures with you. My dad is a person who's pretty adventurous and open (which is why he's the only person who doesn't really nag me about not cutting open my skin on purpose anymore), and he likes to try out new restaurants. Of course, as well as a few other events that happened.


Since I'm the only one at home (older sister working, younger one at school), I was his chauffeur on a few occasions, as well as his meal companion.


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We made a visit to my mother's friend's place. To imagine that the aunties that I see every year have known my mother for over, what, 20 years? Yeah, I think so, since they talked about my older sister waiting for my mother after work. Around 20.

Korean liner. Did it by accident, actually, but I kind of like it~
The adults caught up with each other, while my dad, my sister, and I alternated between watching movies (awesome surround sound system), and playing Logo Quiz on my new gadget.

This is Cookie. Only half of my face shot because she was moving too much.
It's been a while since I got to cuddle something furry, and since Jessie the beautiful Chihuahua passed away due to age (over 80 years in dog years), Cookie the cat was the only furry creature in the house. Though a bit non-friendly, was nice to hold a furry animal again. Damn, I miss having a dog.


And I've developed a liking for "wiener" animals - like Dachshunds, corgis, and Munchkins. All long, and short-legged. =D


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On one food adventure, while accompanying my father to the hardware shops around the area looking for mosquito netting, we stopped by a restaurant for lunch, one which I often overlook, located right beside my old driving school (the lady at the counter still recognizes me, I guess it's because of a really f**cked up incident).

论茶篇。Chinese literary work about the different topics that different types of people talk about over tea.
The place is called BHYJ Tea House and Restaurant, 宝红印记. It's essentially a tea house serving and selling pu er tea, and a place for Chinese-style meals. You could have individual meals, or order common dishes with rice.


The place was furnished in what I would call a semi-village way - there were faux bamboo/wood furniture in old Chinese styles, but the flooring and the kitchen were all quite modern. No idea what the menu looks like, because the menus were sent for updating when we visited.


My dad took care of the ordering, and this is what we had for lunch.

Beancurd with pumpkin sauce, topped with minced meat.
Chinese wolfberry chicken.
Super le expensive...
The place is not economical, though. A meal for two, plus a fried rice to take away, totaled to almost RM100. I would say the taste and quality of the food was reasonable, though.


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I had finally completed my Japanese sesame seed pestle-and-mortar set. I found the bowl at Daiso Mid Valley, and the pestle at Central Hypermarket. Both about RM5 each, and then the next day after visiting central, we found the set at Daiso, complete with the pestle, all for RM5. RM5 wasted.





I actually wanted to purchase the suribachi mortar and surikogi pestle for one thing - BLACK SESAME ICE CREAM. I have developed an innate taste for practically anything Japanese. Well, I found the recipe, but I was too damn lazy to move everything off my laptop to look for the bookmarked website to copy down the recipe, so I resorted to a black sesame recipe by Cooking With Dog.


Ingredients: bananas, soy milk, honey, grounded black sesame, and ice cubes. I would freeze the banana(s) before hand, and PEEL THEM BEFORE FREEZING. I thought it wouldn't be a problem so I just popped the bananas, unpeeled, into the freezer. BIG MISTAKE.


Instead of peeling off completely as it would usually, the skin of the banana just separated, and it took a small paring knife and a few minutes of work to completely peel them.

The first time I made actual healthy smoothies, without adding tons of Oreos, chocolate, and/or Kit Kats into the mixture. =D
Anyway, grind the sesame seeds (with le awesome pestle and mortar, or with a food processor), throw everything into the blender, and WHIZ AWAY!!! Turned out to be awesomely delicious. I would recommend more banana, and grinding the seeds a little more finely, but not for so long that they start to secrete their oils (it will create a paste).


The combination is good for your skin (black sesame), and a pretty good source of protein (soy milk), and B vitamins (banana).


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My dad was out, sister at school, mother at work, so I had to make my own lunch. I didn't want to eat instant noodles already, because all the flavors available were spicy. There was some leftover fusilli pasta at the back of the cupboard, so I thought I'd use it up.

The first time I went into the kitchen and produced something impromptu that is actually EDIBLE.
Just before I started cooking, my grandma came out of her room, and told me there were some defrosted prawns, if I wanted to use them for my cooking. I thought: hey, why not?


Cleaned them, seasoned them. Then did some random stuff to them. I kept the nicer looking prawns for something else, roughly chopped the rest, put in too much cornflour, sauteed some garlic, then pan-fried the "prawn patties" with the garlic, while cooking my pasta (more al dente than usual) with garlic.


Drained the pasta, put in some olive oil to the pasta, back in the pot, then stir fried together with the rest of the prawns. I swear, I'm gonna die indirectly oh high cholesterol. I added some dried herbs, whatever I could find in my pantry. Turned out pretty good!


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Happy Cafe, nice place for a nice meal out.
There's this cafe which my family and I pass by very frequently on the way and back from school, work, or grocery shopping. It's lit up with flashing lights and night, and the place looked like some kind of Hawaiian shack or something.

Warm honey milk. I've developed a taste for the honey and milk combination since I was working at Dami. The key is good quality honey. It's the aroma and flavor of the honey that punctuates and compliments the taste of the milk.
Turns out, it's a Western food joint. Not super-sophisticated, but they had free Wi-Fi (my new survival item), TV (125 Hours was playing), and a selection of beer (Corona included). I was at the start of my current cold, so I had a warm drink.

Creamy salmon pasta. Choice of spaghetti, macaroni, and fettucine, I think.
Grilled lamb chop with red wine sauce. No alcohol~
My sister and I agreed on sharing a pasta and a meat dish. I chose the meat dish, she chose the pasta. Both turned out to be quite delicious. And for the fairly good service, ambiance, taste, and quality, I'd say the prices are well worth it.


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I've a friend from another country who's coming in March, and I've been wondering where to bring him for food. Being a traveler and a pretty good cook, himself, I would assume that he's tried out the local stuff already.


Suggestions from friends included fish head bee hoon (one of my own favorites, but the good one is at Taman Desa), or nyonya food. Nyonya food is characterized with the fusion of Chinese and Malay cooking, which is a reflection of the Chinese-Malay Peranakan culture.


Just a few doors up from Fusion Haven and TM Point, a nyonya restaurant called Familiar Faces was recommended by Ken Min. We had a rather impromptu appointment for dinner, and Familiar Faces was where we went.


I swear, I'm never going early to any social appointments anymore. Sure, I'd give you 5-10 minutes, because I know how hard it is to find parking, and maybe something came up. Boh? But any more than that, I'll get pissed off.

The texture was like... tender beef/pork? Nothing really special, but at least I tried. Never gonna try dog meat, though...
Red star.
ANYWAY, we ordered common dishes to accompany rice. There was even deer meat. And where the menu was supposed to say "fish stomachs", they printed "gas bladder". Like seriously? Wouldn't you care to consult a bloody dictionary before proceeding?

Stir-fried paku veggies with sambal.
Deer meat with black pepper sauce. Ratio of veggies to meat is 1.5 : 1.
Thai-style fried tofu. Comes with a sour-spicy sauce.
Fried egg fu yong.
My favorite - salted egg squid. Almost any sauce that is made from salted egg yolks is awesome!
The food, however, was good. Flavorful, reasonably generous, good service, and quite economical. 5 dishes, rice for 4, 3 drinks, totaled up to RM75 for 4 persons. Not bad, right? But the space in the restaurant is quite limited, so you might wanna reserve in advance for large parties.


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And yesterday, on the 23rd of February, I embarked on a journey with my parents and my sister to Mid Valley (again, again). The main reason was to pick up some stuff from Harvey Norman, but we walked around the mall for a bit while waiting for the targeted shop to open.

Next to a juice bar. Only could get a tilted shot because of said juice bar.
Ace Hardware, you need to get someone to proof-read your price labels before printing. Only 8-digits?
I didn't know the Kardashian Kollection was available in KL. Oh, well. Even Bershka is here. Went up to Ace Hardware to look for water-conserving tap filters, but found none.

Nando's has some very creative ways of transmitting information.
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, and is a good bleaching agent. This is how I look when I wake up 4 hours too early, with no coffee and no make-up.
We had "breakfast" at Nando's, and I found this. Italy does not have Nando's? Pray tell me why. Because Nando's is just fucking awesome. I also have a habit of sucking on lemons...

F1 racing, anyone?
Supposedly, the Formula 1 season is coming up (a friend told me he saw the practice sessions in Sepang on TV), and Clear and Rexona, an anti-dandruff shampoo brand and deodorant brand respectively, kind of collaborated for an event at the Center Court.


There were trips to Monaco up for grabs, and there were "racing booths", complete with F1 sound effects, and almost the real thing. To win the prize, one has to beat a certain time record, I think.

My new dream car, alongside the Nissan Skyline, and the Hummer.
On the way to Amcorp Mall, we stopped at a traffic light, and just as I was mentioning the Porsche Panamera, we saw one. Super fast, and driven by a really hot Caucasian. =D

Grammar!!!!!!!!!!
My mother and sister went crazy in Romantika, a sort of gift shop, which specializes in things like boxes, glasses, decoratives, faux flowers, etc. I weaved randomly through the aisles, but nothing interested me. Even if I bought anything, I wouldn't know where to put them - my room now looks like a post-war zone as it is.

It's been a while, Paddington Bear. I used to delight in watching this cartoon. So cute with his coat, hat, and marmalade~ Oh, childhood!
Book Xcess wasn't a real "destination", but we went in to take a look. I would have gone fucking nuts, because the prices were ... crazy.

According to this book, Italians don't have breakfast, and all of them have a very good sense of style.
The first thing that caught my eye was the display rack in the front, and on it were assorted volumes of Culture Shock!, something like a series of guidebooks to different countries. Almost automatically, I searched for Italy, found it, and immediately went into my cart.

This book describes everything down to your diet to maintain healthy skin.
Then while helping my mother look for word-search grids, I spotted this baby. I was, at that point, chuckling, giggling, and cackling like a completely demented woman. I mean, FROM RM120, REDUCED TO RM29.90?!?


Even the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows cost only RM24.90, when the original price was RM109.90. I'm definitely getting all my books here from now on. Crazy cheap prices!!!

Caramelized macadamia cheesecake. As it is, I don't really like macadamias.

Before getting home, we stopped by Padi House for lunch. My dad ordered some set, which included a cappucino, and a cheesecake of his choice - caramelized macadamia cheesecake. Nothing much to shout about. The cheesecake was delicately flavored, punctuated by the slightly bitter caramel.

Grilled salmon.
I usually reserve the melted mozzarella-pesto "sheet" for last. Note: SNAP YOUR BLOODY ASPARAGUS, don't cut them. By snapping them, you will be able to find the tough, stringy parts.
My sister ordered a grilled salmon dish, while I ordered a pesto fondue chicken again. I'm loving pesto, and who can say no to mozzarella and parmesan cheese?


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Right now I'm having almost nil privacy. Being used to having the entire room to myself, and doing whatever I please until daybreak was a habit. Now I can't even keep the light on for too long... And worse: NO MUSIC. There are so many videos on Youtube I haven't seen, but hey, hakuna matata!


UPDATE: Upon closer inspection, and clarification from a friend, Italians do have breakfast, but not the hearty type that we're used to. Instead of nasi lemak, or a full English breakfast, they make do with a small pastry and a cup of coffee/cappucino.

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